After spending a lot of time in Bali, I decided it was finally time to explore the lesser known nearby island of Lombok. I put together a great 3-week itinerary which included the neighboring Gili Islands, specifically Gili Air, Gili Meno, and Gili Trawangan, along with Lombok itself. I had heard Lombok described as what Bali was like 20-30 years ago, with undeveloped land, less tourism, and a more traditional Indonesian feel. I had previously stayed with Hotel Tugu at their beautiful Canggu property in Bali, so they were my first call when looking for Lombok accommodation and I’m so glad I did!
THE TUGU DIFFERENCE
Hotel Tugu quickly became one of my favoUrite hotel brands during my first Bali trip, and their Lombok property is equally as impressive. Found on the Northwest coast of Lombok, the hotel grounds are beautifully isolated for a romantic and private feel. The hotel is perfectly located for easy access from the Gili islands or Bali itself. You can either go by speedboat, which takes about 2 ½ hours from Bali or only 20 minutes from the Gilis, or you can fly into the new Lombok airport and drive up to the coast. If you really want to make an entrance, you can even charter a boat to drop you off directly on the Tugu private beach!
The beauty of the aforementioned private beach really cannot be understated. While I love Bali, many of the local beaches leave something to be desired. However, this is not at all the case on Tugu Lombok’s private beach, with gorgeous white sand reaching as far as the eye can see. One of my favourite activities was simply lounging on the beach at sunset to watch the local fisherman venture out in the low tide. We even saw some Tugu employees joining in the nightly fishing, explaining to us that they catch octopuses, clams, and other sea delicacies to bring them straight to the kitchen for the meals that night!
The food at Tugu Lombok was equally wonderful as the idyllic setting. Breakfast is made each day at the Bale Kokok Pletok Open Dining Hall, with an endless choice of a la carte breakfast items. One of the best features of Tugu is their “dine anywhere” option, which they take quite literally! They will bring you your food anywhere on the property, and I highly recommend doing at least one meal on the beautiful beach. It is hard to imagine a better way to start your day than enjoying a gourmet breakfast brought to you on a secluded private beach, with nothing but the sound of the waves as your morning soundtrack.
A complimentary afternoon tea is also served each day in the open dining hall, which includes all sorts of great hot and cold snacks, coffee, and of course a wonderful tea selection. It’s tempting to stuff yourself on the cakes and other treats, but make sure to save room for dinner too!
Tugu recently built a very impressive restaurant named Gedong Gandrung, which is open on certain nights of the week. While I didn’t have time to eat at the restaurant, I was able to walk around and take some amazing pictures and read about the extensive history of the venue. Be sure to make a reservation at Gedong Gandrung during your stay, and also take advantage of the dine anywhere option to have a romantic dinner in your room!
The entire Tugu Lombok property is steeped in history and amazing little details, and the quality of the accommodation is no different. There are 6 different room and villa types, each with original artwork and wonderful local styling. I was lucky enough to stay in one of the Bhagavat Gita Oceanfront Suites, which was one of the most impressive rooms I’ve ever been in.
It was in a beautiful free-standing building with tall ceilings, a huge bed facing out to the ocean, an outdoor bathroom complete with rainfall shower and bathtub, and a private pool leading onto the beach! It was a great feeling to wake up, open the curtains and see a beautiful sunrise over the water from the comfort of my own king-sized bed.
ACTIVITIES FOR ALL TASTES
I was tempted to lay around the wonderful room all day, but there were too many other things to do on the hotel grounds that I didn’t want to miss. Staying at Tugu is like being inside of a historical art museum, and the amount of culture and artwork integrated into the facilities is breathtaking. For example, the lobby is built inside of an original 100+ year old building that used to be the reception area from the original Dutch colony to welcome guests. The lobby and surrounding grounds reflect the many cultures of the area, with hints of European, Malay, Chinese and Arabic influences in the architecture and artwork.
When you are done learning about the history of the buildings, Tugu has plenty of options for each activity level. There is a beautiful neighbouring 18 hole golf course set among the trees, a full service spa for any massages and beauty treatments, cooking classes, an art and jewelry gallery, two lagoon style pools, and more! All of the hotel facilities are designed beautifully and perfectly fit the history of the area.
At this point it should be clear how much I enjoyed my time at Tugu Lombok. The design of the hotel is simply wonderful, with plenty of room to spread out and feeling homely at the same time. Everything about the hotel epitomises what makes Indonesia such a special place, and I highly recommend you book a stay at Tugu Lombok on your next trip!
I hope this review has inspired you to visit Lombok and stay at the beautiful Tugu hotel. Please share your own tips for the island with our readers in the comments below.
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I was welcomed as a guest by Tugu Lombok. As always all opinions are my own and reflect my true experience at the hotel.